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Outages to be cut by 30pc in six months

With hectic consultation with experts and leaders, the PML-N has chalked out a comprehensive strategy to overcome the electricity crisis, ensuring a two-to-three hour reduction in outages every six months.

According to sources, the strategy promises fast-track development in the first six months by reducing the loadshedding by 30 percent. This reduction will be linked to other measures and not to water level in dams and rivers.

Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Kh Asif, Ishaq Dar, Salman Shahbaz and Pervaiz Rasheed have participated in these consultative meetings, which were also attended by a huge number of experts.

The strategy also envisages strict measures and legislation to check the electricity theft. Steps have also been planned to ensure payment of bills by the provinces. It was also learnt that the process of dismissal of incompetent officials failing to stop electricity wastage in the first three months would also be completed.

According to sources, billions of rupees have been arranged for the companies which are nearing bankruptcy for not getting oil due to the circular debt. However, this money would be bound to be spent on oil purchase and not for any other head. Besides, the units with higher generation capacity would be getting full oil supply to optimise their output. Improvement in oil supply line will also help reduce the loadshedding.

In the energy sector, oil worth billions of rupees is pilfered during transportation and other processes and a comprehensive plan has been prepared to prevent this pilferage. Besides this pilferage, the adulteration of oil with water and diesel has also caused machinery’s deterioration, further aggravating the crisis.

Under a plan to control unchecked demand of electricity, consumers will be persuaded to use LED bulbs, while use of solar energy and biogas sources will also be encouraged. In the government units, honest and hardworking administration will be inducted. For this purpose, a plan has been worked out to bring about large scale changes in the administration. It is also learnt a large number of members of board of directors of government units are also involved in corruption and their interests are linked to illegally providing electricity to certain industrial units.

According to this plan, a lot of units that can be operated on coal instead of oil will run on coal to produce cheap electricity. In the Punjab, the Chichoki Malian project, which was on a halt due to non-clearance of machinery from Karachi, is being started on an immediate basis. This 700MW project was to be completed in 18 months but Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif have made a pledge that they will complete the project in 12 months under their own supervision just like the Metro Bus Project. Chinese experts have been called so that they may inspect the machinery, which was kept in Karachi for the last five years by the federal government, to see how much damage has been done to it.

Similarly, a plan is being chalked out to ensure continuous supply of gas to the units to end loadshedding. Steps would be taken to enable the units keep working 24 hours a day. According to the sources, measures would be taken for quick completion of work on the Ghazi Barotha Project. It is also hoped that China and other countries investing in the area would make provision of financial assistance possible, they added.

The sources said that there was an increase of two to three hours loadshedding after every six months. After the plan was implemented, there would be a decrease of about three hours in loadshedding after every six months. Though Kh Asif has been given the Ministry of Water and Power, Nawaz Sharif will personally supervise it.

Sources have revealed that the numerical figure of electricity demand is not definitely known to anybody for certain reasons. First, electricity pilferage is rampant, and secondly many industrial units have installed their own generators as alternative sources of electricity generation. The actual figure of demand will be known only after sufficient electricity is provided to the consumers, making them to abandon alternative sources.

According to the sources, the government will allow the import of machinery required to produce electricity from sugarcane leftover stuff. Consequent upon these measures, it will be possible to add 1,000 megawatts electricity to the system within one-and-a-half year.

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